When the person you’re caring for can’t trim their own nails, they can be at risk for infections, pain from long nail growth and scratch injuries. The good news is that keeping their nails short and clean will help to keep this from happening. In this video, we’ll help you learn the basics in hand and foot care so that the person you’re caring for feels and looks their best.
When the person you’re caring for can’t trim their own nails, they can be at risk for infections, pain from long nail growth and scratch injuries.
The good news is that keeping their nails short and clean will help to keep this from happening.
In this video, we’ll help you learn the basics in hand and foot care so that the person you’re caring for feels and looks their best.
Let’s try it!
We’ll need to gather a few things like a bowl of warm water and some gentle soap or cleanser, some washcloths and towels and a nail kit that has nail clippers, a nail file, and a nail stick or brush for cleaning under their nails.
We’ll also need any lotion they like to use.
If you notice any swelling, redness, rashes, open areas or ingrown nails, it is best to contact their health care provider and hold off on doing nail care until you get the okay to go ahead.
If the person you’re caring for takes blood thinner medication, has diabetes or has been told they have problems with circulation or any skin disorders, nail care should only be done by a specialty nail care nurse or doctor.
Let’s start with their hands
If they’re able to sit up, have them sitting in a comfortable chair. If not, lying in bed works too. You can put a towel under their hands to keep their bed or lap dry.
After testing the temperature of the water, place the bowl nearby and have them wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
If they can’t wash their hands themselves, you can use a washcloth & do it for them.
Rinse off the soap well with clean water and dry their hand thoroughly, making sure to dry between all of their fingers
Using the nail stick or brush, gently clean underneath their nails.
Next, file their nails to a short length using a nail file. Filing may seem to take longer, but it is a lot safer. File straight across to prevent ingrown nails, but be sure that the corners are not sharp by rounding the edges a little
You can use nail clippers; just be careful not to clip any skin.
Finish off by moisturizing their hands with their favorite lotion!
Now that their hands are done, let’s move onto their feet.
If they’re sitting up, make sure you’re in a comfortable position, sitting on a short stool could help out with that. If you find you’re in pain reaching to their feet, have them lay down in bed instead.
Protect the floor or their bed with a towel and start by washing their feet with soap and warm water. After rinsing, be sure to dry their feet thoroughly, especially between their toes.
Soaking their feet can be relaxing, but it is not recommended if they have a history of ingrown nails, skin disorders, diabetes or circulation issues. In that case, soaking their feet can break down their skin and cause wounds. If they don’t have any of those issues, soaking their feet for 5-10 minutes would be okay.
Just like their fingernails, gently clean under their toenails with the nail stick or brush and file their nails straight, making sure the corners aren’t sharp.
Ingrown toenails can also happen if nails are filed too short, so be sure to leave some growth, and file just below the end of their toe.
Apply the moisturizer that they like and you’re all done!
Not only is nail care necessary but it can also be very therapeutic for the person you’re caring for. Doing this can be a real treat for them, but don’t forget about self-care. Treating yourself to a manicure or pedicure is a great way to relieve some stress.
For more videos for caregivers covering personal care to self-care and everything in between, be sure to check out our channel.